ComiX Weekly: 11/28/12 Jarnbjorn, the Occult, and Batman Sitting in a Tree… David Brooke November 28, 2012 Comic Books, Reviews Consider that a movie ticket costs $10.00 for two hours of entertainment. Now consider a comic book at 20 pages long can cost you three to four dollars. If a person spends extra time eyeballing each panel they might get about 20 minutes worth of entertainment per comic. That means you’re roughly spending twice as much money for the same amount of entertainment a movie might afford you. That just doesn’t cut it. That’s why ComiX Weekly is here to choose the best comics worth your $10.00 budget bringing out the most entertainment per book we can manage. Check out our budget-minded selections below. Batman Incorporated #5 (DC Comics) Batman has two of the best writers at DC Comics spinning tales for him and quite frankly we should all be thankful for this. Incorporated continues Grant Morrison’s critically acclaimed run (New 52 be damned!), and this issue brings us back to Batman #666 where we see a future with Damian as Batman. Of course we all assume it’s Damian’s fault but this issue plans to reveal the true reasons for the horror that Gotham has become. Killing bystanders wasn’t Bruce’s MO. As far as elseworlds tale goes, this issue has everything you’d want and then some. You’ve got action, an interesting character dynamic you’d never have seen coming and a new world to wrap your head around. The fun of this issue resides in all the surprises as they unfold and while there aren’t a lot of them (this is only 20 or so pages), they are interesting and entertaining. Damian is looking a bit psycho. Ultimately this comic lives and dies by the short page count. Simply put, this issue doesn’t have as many storytelling morsels that Morrison is known to use in any given comic. It’s mostly action and a few scarce details on what will become of Gotham. Joker zombies! Another good chapter in the series, but not a great one to purchase on a budget. This issue reveals things we were all hoping to see back in Batman #666, but with the page counts dropped and only a bit of story revealed (I would love to see a six issue arc on this future) it can’t cut into our budget. Budget: $10.00 – $0.00 = $10.00 Batman: The Dark Knight #14 (DC Comics) And then you have the bastard cousin of the Batman franchise. This series has been pretty terrible since issue #1. The complete dissembling of Bane comes to mind as one of its worst infractions. I’ve reviewed it a few times over the last year and this issue takes it up a notch in the bad category. Somebody has been watching his own movies. Over the last few issues, Batman has been Scarecrow’s captive. Last week we witnessed Batman’s greatest fear, which honestly felt like a cheap move on the writers part. This issue has Batman breaking out simply to serve the plot. Anyhoo, this happens: Ouch! And that’s about it. It’s as if the creative team thought this fight sequence was enough to warrant a purchase by its ever loving fans. Some Comish Gordon time and a touching moment between Damian and Bruce and we’re back to the races. The reveal at the end breaks some rules, like Penguin wanting to run the town rather than kill it, but hey, who doesn’t want zombie toxin action Scarecrow! Look…it’s Link! This is an example of how bad Batman comics can be. Be thankful for Grant Morrison and Scott Snyder! Budget: $10.00 – $0.00 = $10.00 All-New X-Men #2 (Marvel Comics) I want to like this book, but the main problem with this comic is that it spends all of its time with the characters not taking action. Instead they ruminate on what is going on, which is boring and clunky. This issue was the subject of our Is It Good review earlier this afternoon, which you can check out at your leisure. Budget: $10.00 – $0.00 = $10.00 Three comics this week were either close to the mark or downright failures. Either way they can’t justifiably fit into a 10 dollar budget. Sniper Batman will blow their brains out! (Don’t forget to click any links as they direct you to more pictures!) This is a good place to jump onto this series if you’ve been waiting for the first arc to end, but Aquaman #14 is a bit of a drag in the story department. There’s a lot of telling but not a lot of showing, as Aquaman speaks to his brother and a storm seems to be brewing. Nearly everything in this issue will most likely be summarized next issue, especially since this issue is really only about the Atlanteans killing some humans who don’t seem to have any connection to the main story. John Higgins and Jae Lee are doing remarkable work on Before Watchmen: Ozymandias #4 (of 6) but this is the weakest issue they’ve had as far as composition. Pages look great, but there doesn’t seem to be any rhyme or reason to it. Previous issues have had meticulously planned pages, but instead this appears to be following a structure that is repeated over and over for no good reason. That was the saving grace of this series and since it’s incredible first issue the story has spun out of control. Who wants to see Batman Beyond Court of Owls style? Talon #2 is actually an improvement on the last issue, but it was a little unbalanced. Some action, lots of dialogue and monologue, and overall the story is done well save for its unbalanced nature. It does read like we’ve seen it before, but so far it’s a decent series that could bloom. Kill them dead! A + X #2 (Marvel Comics) The first issue was all art and no story. This time we’ve got a bit of story and a lot of great art. Can’t a girl just get a break? The first story has some impeccable art following Black Widow as she teams up with Rogue. Things get a bit dicey: Matrix much? And kissing ensues! That’s one way to do it. The second story is quite good, written by Peter David, and teams up Shadowcat and Iron Man. Micheal Del Mundo pulls an Aeon Flux and completely kills it this issue. She’s Jewish? Huh, never noticed. David brings back the little mishap Kitty had when she had a Brood baby. Now imagine said babies…with her powers! You sure about that? And to think we’d all be skinny if not for a sneeze. Rut row! This was a really fun issue and it’s exaclty what this series needs to deliver to be worth a damn. Sadly though, it doesn’t have quite enough punch to make it onto our budget. Budget: $10.00 – $0.00 = $10.00 FF #1 (Marvel Comics) Mark Allred is on a superhero book and I can’t be happier. This of course is occurring because his other series was cancelled, but let’s not talk about that. Introducing! Why didn’t she fly up? How flipping tiring would it be to walk up those steps? Essentially this team is only going to be together for four minutes…but we all know that’s not happening. It’s odd Ant-Man is afraid to take the job even though he’s promised it’ll be for four minutes. Anyway…what could possibly go wrong? Asking kids for advice? Always a sign of doom to come. Serving as a direct extension of the last Fantastic Four issue…I’m not impressed. This issue spends so much time introducing characters nothing much happens. We shall see next month! Budget: $10.00 – $0.00 = $10.00 Uncanny Avengers #2 (Marvel Comics) This issue picks up considerably and does the characters justice. Everyone gets a bit of action, although you’ll be reading more about Red Skull and his (extremely obvious) plan. How can you smell if people are alive? Bondage drinking games? John Cassaday is a lot stronger this issue and there’s plenty for him to do. By that I mean lots of talking heads…but that’s Cassaday’s bread and butter after all. All bad guys should use the term “father’s whore” more often. Wicked evil. Hitler was on meth…nuff said! Overall a good ride, but not quite up to snuff. Things are still being laid out and the story is coming along at a nice clip, but not a lot of character development or strong storytelling yet. Budget: $10.00 – $0.00 = $10.00 Thor: God of Thunder #2 (Marvel Comics) As you know I loved the last issue. Many folks thought it was uneven and so-so (just Google the title and you’ll see). Well they are the fools! This issue is another fantastic installment, plus we get a real battle on our hands. Three versions of Thor at three different times. The man names his flipping axe too! This issue follows younger Thor, back in 800 A.D. when he’s looking for a fight. Young, brash and kind of stupid. Mmm Godflesh. If this picture doesn’t make you want to buy this comic you are soulless. The only problem I can see with this issue is the bad guy looks like Voldemort mixed with the T-1000 (because he has blade making shadow wings). You look familiar But seriously, the art is epic, the story spans millennia, and there’s tons of great mythology to be had! Fact is, Thor hasn’t been this badass in awhile. Bad. Ass. Budget: $10.00 – $3.99 = $6.01 Lot 13 #2 (DC Comics) The last issue was strong…but could it get stronger? Ew! In a good way! That is one freaky way to get mind melded. There’s a lot more gore this issue, plus it takes advantage of Glenn Fabry’s impeccable skill at faces. It makes the gore all the more scary. Aww so cute when they dance. The problem is…there are two, yes two comics that blow this puppy out of the water! Budget: $6.01 – $0.00 = $6.01 Adventure Time #10 (BOOM! Studios) It has been a while since I’ve recommended an issue of this series, but the truth is I’ve enjoyed nearly all ten issues. Maybe one or two slipped up, but this issue…oh boy. It’s a good one. Who, me? Wait that isn’t… That’s right, an entire issue of choose your own story! So deliciously complicated! And on top of that, the backup story is a nice change of pace drawn as if on ruled paper. Ohhh ruled paper! Very, very…yes very, great issue. Budget: $6.01 – $3.99 = $2.02 Nowhere Men #1 (Image Comics) Image keeps churning out good new miniseries and many of them are science fiction. Score! This issue has many good things. For one…great characters. Oh a Beatles reference. Hehe. Oh a monster diamond reference. Hehe (looks around confused). There are plenty of characters to dig into and it’s all rendered quite well by the great dialogue and great art. “We’re all gonna die.” Isn’t that a Beatles Diamond Monster song? I’m looking forward to the next issue of this…but we can’t quite let it dent our budget. Budget: $2.02 – $0.00 = $2.02 Planetoid #4 (Image Comics) If you’ve been trade waiting on this one you’re probably going to be waiting only a bit longer as the story appears to be wrapping up. At least there’s an end in sight. Note: the station is actually built on the ground going into space. Kill monster. Kill Kill! There’s a lot more action this issue, plus a ton of back story on a few characters and the world is finally expanding. One problem I had with previous issues was how slow things chugged along. I was afraid there wasn’t any vision to this series, but instead ideas thrown into a junk drawer as things matriculated. Not so. This issue proves there’s a lot more to be had and it’s going to be fun to watch it unfold. What is wrong with your face! That’s a head drilling gun. I’ve seen it a thousand times! A giant, world-building 3D printer. Awesome. A highly recommended issue. Sadly…one more book left that peaked my interest right over the edge into happy making rainbow places. Budget: $2.02 – $0.00 = $2.02 Secret Avengers #34 (Marvel Comics) Rick Remender what are you doing man?! This is just bonkers storytelling. Yes, that’s Hawkeye riding Captain Britain like a skateboard. Carry on. Oh no the portal! The problem though, is this is messy writing with even messier plotting. I don’t know what is going on half the time, maybe that’s on the artist, but things are so complicated it’s quite frustrating to follow along. But these guys are so cool! Budget: $2.02 – $0.00 = $2.02 Witch Doctor Malpractice #1 (of 6) (Image Comics) The occult doctor is back, a man who leads a team to cure supernatural diseases. These characters originally appeared back in 2011, and I can’t believe I missed it. This book introduces cool ideas about witchcraft, magic and a whole new angle on the occult you’ve never seen before. Demonic telekinesis. Gets you every time! That is one creepy girl. The monster shadow of herself makes it even more creepy! You’re going to get a taste of medicine…occult style. That’s the flavor that resides in this book, but really the matter you’ll be chewing is the characters and their relationships which are quite good. Penis tongue! Now that’s cool. Love the dialogue. This is worth a look, especially with the pretty detailed art. If you’re looking for something just a wee bit different, take a gander at this comic. Budget: $2.02 – $2.99 = $-.97 What a great week for comics! So good we went over budget. Image Comics deserves a lot of credit for delivering new series that can balance out the superhero books. Till next week, happy reading! http://www.facebook.com/SpookySeanT Sean Thompson Oh, you had to do Lot 13 issue 2, didn’t ye?! I’m still covering it, durnit! http://www.facebook.com/SpookySeanT Sean Thompson You wait, I’ma do a super hero comic, if it is in any way horror! Then, who will have the last laugh! Or, well, comment. Then who will have the last comment! http://www.facebook.com/people/Mark-Pellegrini/500847776 Mark Pellegrini Adventure Time #10 was fantastic. I can’t imagine what a pain in the ass it must have been to script that story in a manner that didn’t make the artist want to shoot themselves in the face.